Sunday, August 4, 2019

America's Choice: Fascism Or Socialism

                                                                                                  written 28 July 2019
                                                                                           published 4 August 2019
            Einstein said, "Either everything is sacred, or nothing is": a unity perspective. America's democracy is an effort to create a society founded on the understanding that ALL people have value, with rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, not just the wealthy few.  This is the core of socialism, a value system that puts people before profits: prioritizing collective benefit over exclusive gain. Firefighters, first responders, public roads, water and sewer systems, libraries and schools, Medicare and Social Security are familiar socialist structures that help make America a functioning democracy.
            Fascism is the governmental alternative to democracy: using government power for the exclusive gain of corporations and the very wealthy, valuing profits over people.  Capitalists have always admired fascism.  Many American corporations had dealings with Hitler's Germany right up to Pearl Harbor, and some, through subterfuge, continued throughout the war.  
            Trump has been blatant about his preference for big business, unfettered by facts, law, ethic, honor, or social consideration, and uses the presidency for personal brand enrichment.  He refuses to release his tax returns, which would show economic conflicts of interest and the potential for extortion by overseas investors.  Instead of divesting from his businesses, he turned control of his 500 corporations over to his kids, two of whom are unconfirmed presidential advisors, not vetted for security clearances.  His original cabinet, and all their replacements, have been business leaders or lobbyists, running agencies that regulate their own industries. They were selected BECAUSE of their conflict of interest.  Several advisors have already been convicted of unregistered lobbying for foreign governments for personal gain.
            President Trump's recent attacks on four Congresswomen are divisive, racist and misogynistic, designed to agitate his voter base, nostalgic for an era when white Christian men ruled America.  But Trump's supporters are being conned by a pro.  The billionaire class is the power behind Trump, and his policies are designed for their benefit at the expense of regular people. Republicans use voter restrictions and gerrymandering to prevent fair elections, and welcomed foreign election interference, assaulting the foundation of our democracy.  By branding Democrats as "socialists", a term demonized by capitalists, they hope to scare people, distracting them from the destruction of our democracy by rising fascism. 
            Trump has delivered three major campaign promises for his wealthy supporters. The first was a massive tax cut for the elite, impoverishing social programs, and generating a deficit of one trillion dollars this year alone.  The second is stacking the court system, especially the Supreme Court, with radical conservative judges that will shape the country for decades.  This looks like a win for the religious right trying to kill abortion, but these judges also prioritize the value of corporations over people: a core fascist principle.  The third is destruction of regulatory structures to increase corporate profits while impoverishing everyone else.
            Regulations passed after spectacular greed in the financial sector crashed the economic in 2007, making millions homeless, have all been repealed by Trump. Regulations established after corporate cost cutting created the 2010 environmental disaster of the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico have been repealed by Trump.  
            The EPA was created to protect the environment from corporate excess.  Trump has gutted the agency, installing corporate lobbyists and former executives.  To increase corporate profit, the EPA allows more poisoning of water by waste from coal and mining.  It recently approved chlorpyrifos, a brain damaging pesticide, for spraying on fruits and vegetables.  Despite increasing economic costs of climate change impact and a growing international awareness of a climate emergency, the EPA denies the reality of climate change and has reduced funding further scientific investigation. 
             To help an economically failing nuclear industry, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission now allows corporations to conduct a reduced number of reactor self-inspections, even though this aging fleet is past it's design life and more prone to catastrophic accidents.
            Poisoning the planet for the short-term profit of a few is a long standing economic pattern, but from a unity perspective, it is suicidal insanity, and contrary to our democratic heritage.  We still have a choice.  We still have options.  Think about the fate of our grandchildren.  Where do you stand?  Corporate profits or a healthy planet?  Fascism or Socialism?